I love San Francisco. I’ve been there many times, but just recently got to play tour guide for a first-timer. I hadn’t ridden the cable cars in years, and had forgotten the “secret” nobody tells you. “Do I need a ticket? Where do I get it? Which line do I stand in?” Everyone was asking same questions.
After an hour of standing in line to buy tickets, followed by another hour to board the car I finally remembered the secret.
We rode 2 blocks up Powell Street where “those in the know” climbed on board with no wait at all (there are always a few spots available). They handed cash or a pass to the driver and up the hill we went.
I had watched dozens of people give up in frustration. Or, they discovered the secret two-hours and two-blocks later. Did you know the secret? Do you tell your clients?
A man sitting next to me (a local) said: “I love the cable cars, they’re part of the magic here.” He insisted we check out the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. I’d seen it on the tourist maps for years but assumed it would be a disappointment. I was wrong.
In a hot, crowded space down a tiny aging alley we found more magic. We watched two bizarre carousels of miniature waffle irons open, get filled with batter, close and move into the oven. Moments later they emerged from the other side, opened and revealed a golden disk. In seconds, two Chinese women peeled them off with their bare hands, stuck in a fortune and folded them into the familiar shape.
The smell and the taste were amazing. The sample was so hot I could barely hold it, leaving me in awe of the barehanded cookie folders. I bought every flavor they had and I can’t wait to go back.
This is travel. These are the details that transform a common trip into an exhilarating experience. Travel AGENTS talk about price quotes and availability. Travel CONSULTANTS talk about magic.
Price quotes sell travel. Magic sells travel and fees. Magic builds relationships. Magic can create memories for your clients and work wonders for your business.
Stop selling travel. Start selling magic.
Nolan Burris is an author, former travel agent, failed musician and self-professed techno-geek. He’s also a popular international speaker both inside and outside of the travel industry. He is the founder and chief Visioneer of Future Proof Travel Solutions (futureprooftravel.com) based in Vancouver, Canada. Nolan’s believes that if can change the way business works, you’ll change the world. His goal is to spread the message of integrity and ethics in a techno-driven world.